The Importance of 12 Step Program Engagement After Treatment.
What makes 12-step programs a good viable option for continuing care after treatment? Let’s look at the reasons to stay engaged.
12 Step Programs gives those in recovery a means of continuing recovery. Life is still going to happen. There are days that will be harder than others. It’s like being up at bat, hitting the ball and running the bases. Each base is a part of the day that demands work, decisions, interaction with others (“words with the boss”). Not all days are easy. So when I’m heading for “home” (my meeting place, or home group), the ball is being hurled to the catcher, I slide in, dust is everywhere, I look up, the umpire pauses and then his arms reached out to the side says… SAFE ! I’m safe and during the first minutes I can re center myself and know all is well.
I’m with people like me.
A Sponsor is someone who takes you through the steps and helps in dealing with life on life’s terms. This is one of the most important relationships I can have. My go to person in life. The experience they offer is priceless. My Sponsor wants better for me than I want for myself. Someone that is louder than my head.
The direction is like this, “Sponsors hold the flash light while you look”. I need my lights, along the way, so I can stay out of the weeds, and on the path. I was given much direction, which I needed, as my life was unmanageable by me. I had not been a person of integrity, or accountable to anything or anyone. I had to learn how to go to work and stay all day. How to be where I say I’m going to be and do what I say I’m going to do. Go with my first commitment and not back out of it because something better came up, (an old idea for me). My Sponsor showed me this through inventories, steps 4&5.
Eventually I must give it away to keep it. When sponsoring I remember that this is someone’s sister/brother, someone’s aunt/uncle, someone’s mother /father…this is someone’s someone. I share my experience and together we both grow. To whom much has been given much is expected…
‘Among them you will make life long friends’…
The fellowship in the program is what keeps me accountable as well. I needed to learn how to be a mother, sister, friend, partner the examples in the fellowship were also my teachers. I have a list of people that I call daily and find out how they are, (keeps me out of self). I had to learn to reach out to the fellowship, which is not always easy. Then in turn, I learned how to have solid relationships with others. Sponsors are not always accessible, so the friends in the fellowship are a big part of recovery. Some days I just get in the car and go to the conference, or to the out of town meeting, these road trips with others taught me how to become one of many and these actions lead to the feeling of being a part of something bigger than me. I learned how to take the actions toward a sober life, even when they felt uncomfortable.
The steps well worked will lead to a way of life that enables sobriety. Taking the steps and having a sponsor, (to take them with) insures accountable.
The 5 Things:
- Don’t drink/use
- Go to a meeting
- Get a Sponsor and call the Sponsor
- Read some of the literature daily
*** Get a commitment in your home group. ***
I hope you get to live on the sunny side of the street…